Ronan Farrow Defends Reporting: ‘This Exceeds the Evidentiary Basis That We’ve Used in the Past’


Ronan Farrow defended his latest bombshell report in the New Yorker that revealed a second accuser of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Farrow and Jane Mayer reported on Sunday night claims from Deborah Ramirez, 53, who said that at a dorm room party at Yale University in the 1980s Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face.

The report has come under scrutiny from supporters of Kavanaugh who have pointed out that Ramirez admitted in the story that she had “gaps in her memory” due to drinking, and that all of the people allegedly present at incident denied it took place. The report also noted that Ramirez was initially “reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty,” but after “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough” in her story.

Farrow explained when pressed by CNN’s John Brennan Monday morning: “This is a woman who did not come forward in a press release. Her story was recounted unbeknownst to her, to senators, who began looking at this claim, and she was placed in the middle of a firestorm.”

“The fact that she took several days to carefully think about whether she wanted to cast herself into this maelstrom, is I think certainly an acknowledgement of the fact that there were gaps in her memory, as is so often the case with traumatic memories influenced by alcohol. But also an indication of her extraordinary degree of caution.”

Farrow laid out exactly what Ramirez remembers from the “extremely traumatic” incident. He pointed out that the New Yorker reached out to a number of classmates of Kavanaugh. Classmates allegedly involved in the incident all denied it happened, but Farrow received “several direct accounts from people who said they were told right after… who independently of Ms. Ramirez recounted the same fact pattern about Brett Kavanaugh doing this.”

“This is a fairly high level of evidence for this kind of case,” Farrow said. He argued that he and Mayer “used the same caution and standards” for their bombshell report about former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“We held this to the same careful standard,” Farrow said, “But I would say that this exceeds the evidentiary basis that we’ve used in the past in several cases that were found to be very credible ultimately.”

“Why did you feel so comfortable running with this story?” Brennan pressed.

“There is a strong evidentiary basis,” Farrow replied. He also pointed out that the story is being investigated by lawmakers on the Hill, which also makes it newsworthy.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin